The next 700 or so years sees local leaders called to guide the people, a kingdom being set up, the kingdom splitting apart and – eventually – ending in exile. There are some bright spots in the story, but there are many dark events as well and the overall direction is downwards. We’ll read from Judges 2:8-23 & 2 Samuel 7:8-16 to get a sense of what was going on.

The deciding factor is whether the people are prepared to be faithful and obedient to the God who had rescued them, driven out their enemies and given them the land. Sadly, many of them – and their leaders – were not.

But there is a message of hope as the story looks forward to a future king who will be everything that God is looking for and will reign over his kingdom forever.